Gifts

Great Ideas For Holiday Shopping: Classic Gifts in Sophisticated Neutrals

Now is a great time to begin to think about holiday shopping and get started on finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list. When I’m shopping for myself, I look for a good quality item at a great price. But when it comes to gift giving, the focus shifts a little more to the quality side. After all, there are only a couple of gift-giving occasions throughout the year, and I want to give my loved ones a gift as special as they are. Don’t get me wrong, the budget isn’t thrown out the window with these Amazon finds, but I’m also looking for some other qualities. What is the star rating on Amazon? What reputation does the brand have? What kind of materials is the item made of? How unique and original is the gift? Is it special, for example artisan made or made in a country known for that product?

This gift guide is for the person on your list who appreciates the classics. Nothing super flashy, but beautiful, understated, high-quality gifts that are sure to be appreciated.

Here are some of my favorite Amazon picks, delivered straight to you!

First on my list is the mulberry silk sleep pillow. Silk pillows have become a top gift item this year because of the gentle treatment they provide for your hair and skin as you sleep, and because of the emphasis on the comforts of home. I love the deep steel gray color of this pure silk pillow.

The traditional tartan plaid scarf is made of a high quality cashmere wool from Scotland. These neutral tones will complement any look, from a blazer to a denim jacket.

Vera Bradley is an immensely popular brand for all kinds of beautiful bags. I love this soft and sophisticated Vera Tote in teddy fleece. Unlike the colorful prints, this bag is incredibly versatile and goes with a multitude of looks.

You can’t go wrong with a leather messenger bag. Anyone on your list will appreciate this classic and beautiful handcrafted bag in a warm brown leather.

The artisan Aleppo soap is made in Syria from an ancient recipe that is known to help alleviate skin problems. I think its distinctive look and packaging will make it a great addition to a holiday gift.

These attractive Turkish cotton hand towels are perfect anywhere in your home, equally useful in the kitchen, bath, or even gym bag. Made in Turkey from 100% fine cotton.

The sterling silver ring is just stunning, featuring multicolored genuine quartz stones channel set in the band and a large central gemstone.

The frosted faux fur blanket is so soft and pretty. What a beautiful gift!

Wristlets are a great little bag to add to the recipient’s collection, perfect for holding a cell phone and cards. This one is from Sakroots, one of my favorite brands.

Noise isolating blue tooth headphones from Skull Candy are a great gift for someone who spends a lot of time on a computer. This is especially true with so many of us trying to optimize all our online time neccessitated by 2020.

The tortoiseshell finish watch by Anne Klein is classic and fun.

These gorgeous earrings are the real deal: 14 karat gold fittings and Tahitian Black South Sea pearls. This is truly a special gift sure to be treasured.

The Dionis goat milk body and hand cream is made by a small company and would be perfect combined with other thoughtful gifts or as a stocking stuffer.

If you want a classic gift, a signature Coach logo wallet in khaki is a terrific option.

Scented candles are always a nice gift idea, and this set is pretty and versatile in neutral tones. The candles are hand-poured soy with an embossed design.

This s’well water bottle keeps drinks cold for an incredibly long time. I love the teak finish on this little beauty.

Finally, these custom made bracelets can be ordered in your choice of metal, stamping, and with an engraved message. They are so pretty and thoughtful. What a wonderful gift!

Thanks for checking out my shopping guide today! This post does contain affiliate links, and I really appreciate you supporting my blog! πŸ™‚

Have a beautiful day, and happy shopping! πŸ™‚

Event Planning

Plan Your Elegant Sea Glass Inspired Wedding With Perfect Amazon Finds

Here’s a fresh wedding color palette inspired by the clear, clean hues of sea glass. These tranquil colors are an ideal match for small outdoor events and provide a breezy, romantic feel for your special day.

I am an Amazon affiliate (thanks so much for supporting my site :)) I LOVE creating harmonious themes and color schemes. Here are my top picks for a sea glass-inspired wedding from Amazon:

Have a beautiful day, and happy planning! πŸ™‚

Thanks for checking out my blog today! Use coupon codeΒ TAKE25Β to receive $25 off your order of $200 or more at Kate Aspen!

Kate Aspen - For All You Celebrate - Party Favors, Decor & More

Cooking

Simple and Delicious Low-Carb Jambalaya Recipe

Looking for something new on your quest for a healthier, low-carb diet? Try some spicy cajun jambalaya! Jambalaya is traditionally a rice dish, but we have tested and adapted this recipe to substitute riced cauliflower. You have to change the cooking method some from the traditional way, but the results are delicious!

I make some long-grain rice separately too for our family, since not all of us are eating low carb. Everyone is happy and gets their fill of this hearty dish.

We all love cajun and creole food. I’m not sure why since we have always lived in the Northeast, but there’s just nothing like some Louisiana-style cooking!

Here’s how to cook up some yummy jambalaya yourself.

Ingredients:

1 pound andoille sausage, sliced thin. We have tried different varieties and like Johnsonville the most for this recipe.

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts or 3 skinless boneless thighs, cut into small pieces.

2-3 T olive oil

1 can fire-roasted tomatoes

2 diced bell peppers (I use red)

2 stalks of celery diced

1 medium to large onion, diced

4 t. fresh minced garlic

3 cups chicken stock

2 T Cajun seasoning

1/8 t cayenne pepper

2 t dried crushed thyme

3 dried bay leaves

1 package frozen riced cauliflower

cooked rice if serving part with rice

  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot.
  2. Add the sausage and chicken. Cook and stir until the chicken is cooked through, about 7 minutes. Remove the meats to a plate.
  3. Add more olive oil to the pot if needed. Add the onions, peppers, celery, to the pot and cook until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, and spices to the pot. Return the meats to the stock pot. Cover and reduce heat, cook for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
  5. Cook the frozen cauliflower according to package directions.
  6. Combine the soup with the riced cauliflower and allow the flavors to soak in for five minutes.
  7. Note that you can combine part of the jambalaya with rice if you would like to.
  8. Enjoy!
Cozy at Home · Home Decor

Elegant French Country Farmhouse Finds Create A Chic, Relaxed Interior

See links at the bottom of article for full product info

Wouldn’t this be a great time to escape to the French countryside? I’m picturing a little stone cottage with wooden shutters, glowing light shining warmly through diamond paned leaded windows, and covered in climbing vines. I love the relaxed, warm elegance of French Provincial decor. And I’m a little obsessed with the set designs of the lastest live action ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Disney films. πŸ™‚ which both feature stunning Old World interiors.

If you want to add a little provincial charm to your space, I have some great finds for you! This is an excellent look if you’re already starting with some natural rustic elements in your interior, such as a big stone fireplace, exposed beams, or plaster walls. If you’re going for a French country look, consider using a muted yellow-gold, gray, gray-blue, or muted sage on the walls. Adding gorgeous toiles on pillows, curtains, or wallpaper is also a surefire way to bring in some Old Country charm.

Other great looks for your Provincial space include whitewashed and weathered wood, comfy upholstered furniture, dried flowers and herbs, traditional candlesticks, and gleaming chandeliers.

Here are some more great French Farmhouse finds!

Have a beautiful day! πŸ™‚

Post contains affiliate links. Thanks so much for supporting my blog! πŸ™‚

DIY Crafts · Gifts

Make Beautiful Porcelain Look Gift Boxes: Super Easy DIY Project

Have you ever received a fully coordinated gift basket that was thoughtfully picked for you? Contrast that to being handed something from the store check-out line, still in the plastic bag, and you see what a big differnce gift packaging can make! When you give someone a gift, it’s important to put in the time and effort to select something personalized for the recipient. Making the gift wrap look just as special as the gift also is so thoughtful and really makes the gift extra special.

I love to find new and creative ways to wrap or package gifts. It’s pretty easy to make cute tags using scrapbook paper, or turn a plain paper gift bag into an artistic original with a few stamps or other creative embellishments.

Today, I made some pretty little gift boxes using really common supplies and in less than an hour. The boxes look like they are vintage porcelain treasures, but really, they were quickly put together with simple supplies you may already have. These elegant boxes would also make a wonderful DIY favor for a wedding or shower. Each guest could receive a small gift packaged in a tiny faux porcelain box. You can make these in any color you want as well!

Okay, so here’s what you need:

Small cardboard gift boxes. I used small silver jewelry sized boxes. With metallic boxes, another nice way to make them is to sand off a little paint around the edges when the paint is dry for a weathered metal look box.

Matte paint or chalk paint in your desired colors.

Silk flowers or leaves, any color. I used silk maple leaves and some berries.

Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

Ribbon or String

How to make the gift boxes

  1. Paint the boxes with chalk paint. I used a light celery green.
  2. Paint the silk flowers with chalk paint. Thoroughly coat all the surfaces. You could also just dip them into a dish of paint if you are going to be making a lot at one time.
  3. When the flower pieces are dry, glue them onto the box in the arrangement you would like.
  4. If you want a complete monochromatic look which many porcelain boxes have, you’re done!
  5. If you want to try some shading to suit a a color scheme or decor, thats easy enough to do. Just wait for you first coat to dry and add touches of your second color to the silk flowers with a small paint brush. I did this with some of mine, and it was super easy-no special art skills required!
  6. Tie the boxes up with ribbon or jute if you like.
  7. That’s it! You’re done!

Have a beautiful day, and try something creative!

Post contains affiilate links in the supply links. Thanks so much for supporting my blog! πŸ™‚

DIY Crafts · Event Planning · Free Printables

Free and Fun Party Decor

Hello there! Are you planning a birthday party, bridal shower, or a special day for your mom? Small outdoor gatherings are the 2020 style celebration, and if you’re looking for some inspiration for your upcoming event, I have some free downloadable graphics for you!

The design includes a crown, paper chain, placemats, and place cards.

A few suggestions for using the graphics:

Print multiple copies of the crown and cut to fit. This will be two copies for a child and an adjustable three for an adult.

The paper chain has several mix and match designs so you can make all the links the same or use them all together.

Thanks for taking a look at my blog today. For other great merchandise for your party, shower, or wedding, check out the Kate Aspen website. Use code TAKE25 for 25% your order of $200 or more!

File Download

Have a beautiful day, and happy planning! πŸ™‚

Gifts

Searching for the Perfect Gift for Your Besties? Here’s Your Best of Amazon Shopping Guide!

Great Gift Ideas Delivered Straight To You

Click links for full details!

I’ll Be There For You Hoodie

Everyone’s favorite friends lend inspiration to this fun hoodie for your own favorite friend.

Sister I Chose Tumbler

This bright tumbler feautures a great sentiment for your friend who’s just like your sister.

Giraffe Nerd Print

Everyone loves a nerd right? Especially a nerdy giraffe on an artistic print.

Pura Vida Ring Stack

Any bff would appreciate this stunning ring stack.

Bath Bombs Set

Bath sets are nice, but this colorful one is definitely the bomb.

Michael Kors Cross Body Bag

Looking for a top quality gift for a top quality friend? Check out this Michael Kors cross body bag in blossom.

Best Friends Necklace

Check out the sweet sentiment attached to the card on this pretty necklace.

Coconut Spa Gift Set

Treat your bestie to some pampering with this coconut spa gift set.

Canon IVY Outdoor Waterproof Camera With Wifi, Bluetooth

This amazing and beautiful Canon camera is a terrific gift for anyone on your shopping list.

Pura Vida Seed Bead Bracelet

Pretty and delicate bracelet from Pura Vida is sure to be appreciated

Weirdo 1 and 2 Necklace Set

You know you two are weirdos, but you definitely belong together.

I’ll Be There For You Friends Pillow Covers Set

Perfect pillows for getting comfy and watching your favorite show.

Handcrafted Custom Cuff Bracelets

These gorgeous sterling bracelets can be customized just for you. Check it out!

Typewriter Print

Pretty and brainy, just like your bff.

Diary

Locking leather diary for everything you have sworn her to secrecy about.

Artisan Freshwater Pearl Ring- Fair Trade

How gorgeous is this sterling silver freshwater pearl ring? And it’s artisan crafted and fair trade!

Belle Art Print

Arty Belle print perfect for your princess-y friend!

Acorn Portable Bluetooth

This portable bluetooth is just too cute.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog! πŸ™‚

Have a beautiful day, and happy shopping! πŸ™‚ I hope you find the perfect gift!

Event Planning

Down to Earth: Planning Your Wedding In Terracotta

A beautiful table with burnt orange touches, velvet table runner, Amazon

Looking for a gorgeous new color for your dream wedding? Move over, neutral blush, rich terracottas are in the house! This gorgeous hue takes its name from earthen garden pots, making this color theme perfect for outdoor weddings where pots become part of the decor, from alter decorations to party favors.

I love this color combined with hammered copper and rustic bronze. Imagine a gorgeous copper punch bowl, edison bulbs suspended from industrial bronze fittings, and copper-wired fairy lights magically lighting up your soiree.

Amber glass and textiles look fantastic combined with terracotta. Amber apothecary vases and glass candle holders are very much on-trend. The sumptuous velvet table runner in the top photo harmonizes with burnt orange decor items such as the candles and florals on the tablescape.

Rusty terracotta combines perfectly with dusty rose, petal pink, and weathered sage. Think boughs of greenery such as seeded eucalyptus and willow combined with vibrant blooms such as roses, peonies, and dahlias.

To help make your dream terracotta wedding a reality, you can have all of these awesome finds delivered to your home through Amazon. I am an Amazon affiliate and I thank you very much for supporting my blog! πŸ™‚ I’m also a longstanding Amazon customer and rely extensively on their product delivery myself.

Here are my favorite finds for an amazing terracotta wedding. Please click on the links below for full information.

Click Item For Full Details

  1. Mini Terracotta Pots
  2. Set of 2 Hoop Wreaths
  3. Edison String Lights
  4. Terracotta Chiffon Bridesmaid Dress
  5. Amber Bottles Set
  6. Silk Flowers Assortment Burnt Orange and Pinks
  7. Hanging Terracotta Planter
  8. Copper Charger Plates Set
  9. Hammered Copper Outdoor Tiki Torches
  10. Galvanized Tiered Server With Copper Trim
  11. Amber Glass Realistic Flameless Candles Set
  12. Realistic Peonies Flower Arrangement
  13. Wooden Arbor
  14. Draping Fabric
  15. Rust-Colored Silk Wildflower Stems
  16. Bouquet With Rope Bow
  17. Plug-In Industrial Bronze Pendant Light
  18. Battery Operated Edison Tabletop Light Set of 2
  19. Terracotta Colored Taper Candles
  20. Hammered Copper Punch Bowl
  21. Copper Wire Fairy Lights
  22. Large Hammered Copper Floor Vase
  23. Cloth-like Terracotta Napkins
  24. Eucalyptus and Flower Garland
  25. Chiffon Ribbon
  26. Terracotta Necktie and Pocket Square Set
  27. Mr. and Mrs. Blocks
  28. Silk Eucalyptus Bunch
  29. Metallic Paper Straws
  30. Light Amber Glass Corked Bottles Set
  31. Flower Girl Dress
  32. Beaded Cake Stand

Have a beautiful day, and happy planning! πŸ™‚

Kate Aspen - For all you celebrate
Event Planning

30+ Awesome Boho Wedding Items Available on Amazon

This fabulous lace teepee is available on Amazon

Boho weddings! The trend is everywhere you look, and it’s no wonder. The look is free-spirited, fresh, romantic, and eclectic, with color tones that are warm and welcoming. If you’re planning a wedding, you can browse through Amazon for some truly amazing and affordable finds. The ethereal boho wedding look is absolutely perfect for the backyard and outdoor weddings so popular now. This wedding theme also lends itself to combining DIY projects with gathering some really amazing items from online sources.

Here are some of the top ideas available now on Amazon.

Showstopping backdrops

A great place to start with your personalized wedding design is a central element or two that provide the feel and mood you are going for. Check out this gorgeous large macrame hanging. This would be amazing as a centerpiece of your ceremony. The large lace tepee is also unique and beautiful for a boho wedding.

Hanging lighting

Another key element for a romantic boho wedding is hanging lighting. Chandeliers, sparkling string lights, and lanterns all lend a free-spirited and festive glow to your celebration.

Decor Items

Whatever your color theme, beautiful and eclectic boho elements will carry it through perfectly and creatively. Here are some of the high-impact looks I love from Amazon.

Florals

No ethereal boho look would be complete without some unique and stunning floral elements. Combine beautiful blooms with soft textures such as pampas grass and ostrich feathers for a fab boho look.

Have a beautiful day, and happy planning! πŸ™‚

Kate Aspen - For All You Celebrate - Party Favors, Decor & More
Garden

12 Landscape Plants That Are Still Pretty In Mid-October

We have had some good-weather days here into October, and it’s so nice to step outside and see some beautiful plants that somehow keep going, even well into the fall. Today was a particularly gorgeous fall day in mid-October, and I had the chance to get outside in our yard to get a closer look at some pretty, long-season landscape plants. I hope this will give you a little inspiration for your own landscape!

Rose “the fairy”
Wild Rose Hips
lamb’s ears
Endless Summer Hydrangea
Mint
Knockout Rose
Japanese Anenome
Dogwood
snapdragon
ornamental kale

Fairy Rose

This delicate- looking but extremely hardy miniature pink landscape rose “The Fairy” starts blooming early in the season and is still going in October.

Wild Rose Hips

We have a big, wild rose bush on our fence row that’s been here since we moved in. My husband has tried to trim it back a few times, but to no avail. It is a pretty plant though with pink to white flowers in June. In October, it has these gorgeous red rose hips and looks fantastic against the white fence.

Lamb’s Ear

Lamb’s ear is a low-growing perennial with gray-green fuzzy leaves. I love to have these around because they look great in flower arrangements, and they edge our patio so I can enjoy them all season long.

Hydrangea

Although some of the blooms are past their prime, many others look like it’s an August day on this hydrangea bush. The variety is Endless Summer, and it’s definitely true to its name!

Mint

Mint is a great plant to grow. You can use it in cooking, and it smells so good! Just be careful to pull up what you don’t want or plant it in a container. This mint plant is still completely green and flowering, even at this time of year.

Knock Out Rose

The hype about knockout roses is all true! I have other traditional roses that I love too, but there’s no beating this one for long season bloom, in my area from May to October.

Japanese Anemone

These pink flowers are so gorgeous, it’s hard to believe they are so hardy! Cold weather does not bother these blooms at all.

Dogwood

Dogwood trees are among the first bloomers, putting on a show when the air is still chilly in the spring. Then, in fall, the leaves change to reddish hues, and each bract produces berries. We have three beautiful trees that are big favorites of the birds.

Snapdragon

I love colorful snapdragons. If you pinch them back, they will bloom all season. They also reseed, so you can easily end up with an established patch.

Ornamental Kale

Ornamental cabbage and kale just get better and better as the season goes along. They are terrific in container.

Aster

These blue-purple asters are just so pretty! They have bloomed non-stop for a month. It’s my first year planting them, and I’m hoping they will be back next year.

Aster

Hardy Mums

Mums are often grown as an annual, these rich red colored mums are planted in the garden and come back each year. Nothing says fall like autumn-hued mums!

hardy mums

Have a beautiful day, and happy gardening! πŸ™‚